Zane Grey on the Rogue River
Wednesday June 8, 2005
By Dawna Curler
Welcome to As It Was: Tales from the State of Jefferson
Perhaps no one did more to promote fishing on Southern Oregon's Rogue River than popular adventure writer, Zane Grey. Among his many Western novels was Rogue River Feud. Other stories about fishing adventures included "Where Rolls the Rogue," and "Down River," an account of Grey's first boat trip on the Rogue.
Zane Grey made numerous visits to the Rogue during the 1920s and, in 1926, bought land and built a cabin along the lower river. In contrast to his earlier enthusiasm, he abandoned the Rogue a few years later after the installation of Savage Rapids Dam, above Grants Pass. Grey's son, Loren, recalled, "After the dam, the water was too warm. The summer steelhead stopped coming."
Grey later fished the North Umpqua River but had strong cautionary words. "…Unless strong measures are adopted by the people of Oregon, this grand river will go the way of the Rogue." Not popular with the locals, Grey was outspokenly critical of logging, road building and fish hatcheries.
In recent years, the dam that drove Zane Grey off the Rogue has come under fire by other conservationists and is scheduled to be removed. His remote cabin on the Rogue River is still there, accessible only by boat or a long wilderness hiking trail.
Today's episode of As It Was was written by Dawna Curler, the program engineer is Raymond Scully. I'm Shirley Patton. As It was is a co-production of JPR and the Southern Oregon Historical Society. To Share stories or learn more about the series visit asitwas - dot- org
Korbulic, Mary. "Romancing the Rogue, Zane Grey's fickle love affair with the Rogue River," Table Rock Sentinel, November/December 1992, pp. 3-11 and Freeman, Mark. "Savage Rapids removal passed , Dam would come down after pumps installed," Mail Tribune, November 20, 2003, online edition, http://www.mailtribune.com/archive/2003/1120/local/stories/02local.htm